Dear Editor:

It is ironic that your July 15th news story and editorial with their unquestioning support of Glacier Resorts commercial operations on Farnham Glacier purport to respect journalistic integrity, while at the same time, without any substantiation, condemn environmental organizations as agents of deception and propaganda. This could not be further from the truth you claim to uphold. Wildsight is a widely respected and vital environmental watchdog that prides itself on factual accuracy, and representing the public interest in maintaining the ecological health of our lands and waters.

In the case of Glacier Resorts Licence of Occupation on Farnham Glacier, both your article and editorial seem to accept the statements of the company spokesperson as factual. In fact, the Licence of Occupation, Section 4.1 (c) (i & ii), under the Land Act is not a licence to operate in whatever manner one wishes all of the requirements to meet environmental standards must still be met through obtaining the necessary permits and authorizations designed to protect our land.

Wildsight maintains Glacier Resorts has failed to meet its obligations in this regard. For example, on July 12th of this year, during remedial excavating work at the Farnham base area, the company appeared to observers to be in violation of the Water Act, Section 9, which stipulates that a permit is required to work in and about any stream.

Wildsight also maintains that similarly, in 2008, Glacier Resorts did not go through the necessary authorizations to receive a work permit for road construction through a stream, even though their Licence of Occupation allowed for a road in principle. This is the infraction Glacier Resorts refers to as a bald-faced lie. Glacier Resorts may not like to observe environmental protection measures, but failure to comply will result in legitimate challenges by organizations such as Wildsight. I, among many, am proud to be associated with this organization, and I value the contribution of many other similar conservation organizations to the fabric of civic life in British Columbia and across Canada.

Juri Peepre

Chair, Wildsight Regional Council